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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Bill to track every federal dollar headed to Obama’s desk

The House on Monday gave final congressional approval to a bipartisan bill that would require federal agencies to report all of their expenditures online in a single location, sending the measure to the White House for President Obama’s signature.
Both chambers of Congress passed the DATA Act unanimously this month, representing a rare showing of widespread agreement between Democrats and Republicans. Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) sponsored the legislation.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who sponsored a similar measure in 2011 with Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), described the DATA Act as “a win for good government, moving the federal bureaucracy into the digital age and setting the stage for real accountability.”
Transparency advocates have complained that federal agencies rarely make spending data readily available under the current system. The Data Transparency Coalition applauded the House vote on Monday, calling on Obama to sign the bill and commit the Office of Management and Budget to “pursue robust standards throughout federal financial, budget, grant and contract reporting.”
Comptroller General Gene Dodaro, who heads the Government Accountability Office, said during testimony this month that the DATA Act is the “single biggest thing” lawmakers could do to identify wasteful federal spending.

-Josh Hicks, WashingtonPost.com
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